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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friends to the End

Job 32:1 thru Job 34:37

We had a new character step forward today that we did not even know was there and listening to Job and his friends banter.

Elihu is young but wise beyond his years.  I kind of like this new dude.  One reason is because I feel he is the only one who was really listening to Job's words and heart because he is the only one who quotes Job verbatim. 

Elihu gives insight in chapters 32 and 33 illustrating through three examples what is the 'meaning' if Job's suffering.

Job 33:14 he says, For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.  Then he illustrates three ways that God may speak to a person and to Job.

#1 Through dreams and visions (Job 33:15).  Job thought that the dreams he had in the night were examples of divine torment (7:14).  Now Elihu is gently suggesting they may be the occasion of God's talking to Job.

#2 Through the chastening of sickness (Job 33:19-22).  Job lamented his suffering, feeling that it was an example of how God 'hated' him (16:9).  We know that was not the case.

#3 Through the voices of a mediator or a friend (Job 33:23-25).

Elihu's major point here in chapter 33 is that God may be trying to get Job's attention through his current condition.

We are seeing how Elihu is intelligently interpreting Job's dilemma in a way that will ultimately lead Job to see things differently.

Job has been viewing his suffering as punishment but God is trying to get his attention through all three of these points and Job is still not getting that.

How many times has God tried to speak to us through our stuff to teach us, stretch us and mature us but we were so tuned into our situation that we tuned God out?

We end our reading today with Elihu telling Job, ...you speak angry words against God.

God is the one who is for Job and yet Job is speaking against God.  Elihu tells Job he is speaking out of ignorance and his words lacked insight (34:35).

Job has had so many voices speaking to him that he cannot hear the voice of God.  Elihu is a voice of reason.  I need friends like that.

You need a friend like that; people who do not just tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear.

I want to give you a way to know if someone is a true friend in your life or not.  Ask yourself this question, Am I a better person because of their presence in my life?

Better yet, is someone else a better person because of your presence in their life?  Just food for thought for us.

So in closing today I really want to us to learn to view our troubles in life a little differently.  Let's ask ourselves... What is God teaching me?  How is this making me a better person?  How can I use this time wisely? 

Sometimes what we think is punishment from God is actually His protection, correction and stretching.  And when our perspectives are correct, we can walk through anything.  And a little help from our friends goes a long way.

So let's allow our prayers today be to hear God's voice through my friends, my dreams and even my sicknesses.

See ya tomorrow friend,

p.s. Yesterday I ended the post saying Friday we will hear from God.  Well, actually we have one more day with Elihu first.  So I am correcting myself.

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